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    Feb 20th, 2008 at 23:42:33     -    Grand Theft Auto - San Andreas (PS2)

    SUMMARY:

    Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas for the Playstation 2 is an open world action game that takes place in the fictional city San Andreas. You play as a young gang-banger named Carl Johnson, CJ for short, looking to make it big in the world. San Andreas is based off of the real cities San Francisco, Las Angeles, and Las Vegas and is divided into three parts. Although GTA: San Andreas has a story, the game’s main draw is its open world game play. Players can use many different types of weapons and drive many different types of vehicles including cars, boats, and planes to name a few.

    GAMEPLAY:

    One thing that the Grand Theft Auto series has always been known for its open world game play along with very large detailed worlds. San Andreas is no exception and boasts the largest map in the GTA series. Almost immediately upon picking up a controller and playing the game you will notice that there are no objectives you must complete. You can run, drive, swim, or fly around doing whatever you want for as long as you please. The game is a continuous world with people, weather, day and night, etc. If you choose, you could play San Andreas for countless hours without completing a single mission in the game. It is the freedom to do whatever you want that makes GTA games so much fun.
    Although doing whatever you want in San Andreas can get boring, which is where the games story comes in. In San Andreas, like in all previous GTA games, your character receives missions from different characters that you complete for money, respect, and to progress the plot. There are missions that are linked to the overarching story of the game along with side missions that do not advance the plot. The missions in the game are all very distinct, but also very similar. Most missions require you to go to point X kill so-and-so and drive back to your safe house. There are exceptions and some of the missions are very fresh and exciting, but most fallow that simple formula.
    Another interesting aspect of the game play is the vehicles. There are tons of different vehicles that all handle uniquely. As you progress through the game you will have access to better vehicles that you can store in your garages. The garages save whatever vehicles you place in them so that you can go get them at a later time. This is important because those of you familiar with GTA games will know that vehicles randomly spawn just outside of your draw distance, and de-spawn after they are out of sight (too far away, around a corner, etc.).

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    Feb 20th, 2008 at 23:09:22     -    Shadow of the Colossus (PS2)

    SUMMARY:

    Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas for the Playstation 2 is an open world action game that takes place in the fictional city San Andreas. You play as a young gang-banger named Carl Johnson, CJ for short, looking to make it big in the world. San Andreas is based off of the real cities San Francisco, Las Angeles, and Las Vegas and is divided into three parts. Although GTA: San Andreas has a story, the game’s main draw is its open world game play. Players can use many different types of weapons and drive many different types of vehicles including cars, boats, and planes to name a few.

    GAMEPLAY:

    One thing that the Grand Theft Auto series has always been known for its open world game play along with very large detailed worlds. San Andreas is no exception and boasts the largest map in the GTA series. Almost immediately upon picking up a controller and playing the game you will notice that there are no objectives you must complete. You can run, drive, swim, or fly around doing whatever you want for as long as you please. The game is a continuous world with people, weather, day and night, etc. If you choose, you could play San Andreas for countless hours without completing a single mission in the game. It is the freedom to do whatever you want that makes GTA games so much fun.
    Although doing whatever you want in San Andreas can get boring, which is where the games story comes in. In San Andreas, like in all previous GTA games, your character receives missions from different characters that you complete for money, respect, and to progress the plot. There are missions that are linked to the overarching story of the game along with side missions that do not advance the plot. The missions in the game are all very distinct, but also very similar. Most missions require you to go to point X kill so-and-so and drive back to your safe house. There are exceptions and some of the missions are very fresh and exciting, but most fallow that simple formula.
    Another interesting aspect of the game play is the vehicles. There are tons of different vehicles that all handle uniquely. As you progress through the game you will have access to better vehicles that you can store in your garages. The garages save whatever vehicles you place in them so that you can go get them at a later time. This is important because those of you familiar with GTA games will know that vehicles randomly spawn just outside of your draw distance, and de-spawn after they are out of sight (too far away, around a corner, etc.).

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    Feb 8th, 2008 at 18:51:20     -    Halo 3 (360)

    GAMEPLAY:

    In this gamelog session I will be focusing on Halo 3's multiplayer. Multiplayer has always been what stood out in the Halo series, and this holds true in Halo 3. The multiplayer is very refined and is a nice improvement on Halo 2's multiplayer. Some of the changes I noticed were all of the weapons and vehicles seemed more balanced, which is essential for a good FPS. Each weapon has is ideal range and situation, but no weapons are overpowered in all situations. This keeps gameplay interesting because players are using different weapons.

    Each weapon in the game has a few standard characteristics that define it. These include effective range, rate of fire, ammunition per clip, reload time, and damage per bullet. Each weapon has a unique combination of each of these characteristics, and therefor has an ideal situation in which a player would want to use it. Learning when to use one weapon over another is one of the core elements of the gameplay and separates the elite from the novice. Another element of the Halo 3 combat that is a staple in the Halo universe is the beat-down, or melee attack. This can also be timed and when used effectively is very deadly.

    DESIGN:

    The design of Halo 3 is spectacular. The Bungie team spent a lot of time and money refining the game engine and it shows. They really learned from their mistakes in past Halo games and the series has really evolved. One of the main problems with Halo 1 and 2 were unbalanced weapons. In Halo 1 the human pistol was all you needed to kill anyone, whether they had a rocket launcher or sniper rifle. With the human pistol, if you could see someone you could kill them, regardless of range. Some problems that plagued Halo 2 were the over powered energy sword and plasma pistol. These weapons were far too deadly in the hands of a skilled player and took away from the fairness of the game. Halo 3 did an excellent job of ridding the series of over powered weapons and this shows in the multiplayer experience.

    Halo 3 added many new weapons, grenades, and vehicles, yet none of them seem over powered. This is a result of Bungie putting their heart and soul into Halo 3, along with hours and hours of play-testing. One really cool thing about Halo 3 is that if a player knows that they are doing they can kill anyone with any weapon. The player must learn the effective range of all the weapons and use their weapon when it is most effective while exploiting their enemies effective range. Players can spend countless hours learning these interesting and detailed dynamics of the game. I have played all of the Halo games since the original came out on the Xbox, and I am still learning new tricks.

    Halo 3 is one of the best first person shooters on the market. This title did not come easy, but rather from Bungie's passion and expertise in making a good FPS. It is Halo 3's balance and refinement that make it a great game.

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    Feb 8th, 2008 at 18:29:20     -    Halo 3 (360)

    SUMMARY:

    Halo 3 is a sci-fi first person shooter based in a fictional future where humankind is at war with an evil alien race called the Covenant. Halo 3 is the third installment in the halo series and your main goal is to "finish the fight" with the alien race, and save mankind and Earth. The game focuses primarily on multiplayer, but has an average single player campaign as well.

    GAMEPLAY:

    For this gamelog session I will be focusing on the single player portion of the game. One of the first things I noticed when I started playing the Halo 3 campaign was the major graphical overhaul when compared to Halo 2. Everything in the game appears to have a shimmering glow effect which looks very nice when coupled with the high quality lighting in the game. All of the textures are very high-resolution, even when you are looking at a wall right in front of you zoomed in through a sniper scope. There is also a nice motion blur effect and a depth-of-field effect that blurs things that are far away. All of these things can be noticed in the first few seconds of the first level of the single player campaign.

    Aside from the stunning visual aspects of the game, the gameplay holds true to the "Halo standard" and is very smooth and refined. If you have played any of the previous Halo games you won't notice much of a change, but "don't fix what ain't broken" right? One of the few changes to the control scheme was a few button changes to better utilize the Xbox 360 controller's added shoulder buttons. These changes seem foreign and frustrating at first, but after getting used to, are much more logical than the old controls.

    After making my way through a decent amount of the first level one thing really stood out as being new to Halo 3, and that was the enemy AI. In previous Halo titles, and many other FPS's the enemy AI is either too easy are too hard. They are either very stupid or they cheat and are too "smart". Halo 3 seems to balance this quite well and it makes for very interesting gameplay. The enemies react to their environment, by seeking cover or attempting to get the high ground on you. The enemies are also no longer scripted like in games of the past. Each attempt on a given situation will yield different results. This means that each time you retry a part of the level, the enemies will go different routes, use different tactics, and be in different groups. This keeps the gameplay very exciting and stops players from learning the encounters and exploiting them.

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    1Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (PC)Playing
    2Grand Theft Auto - San Andreas (PS2)Playing
    3Halo 3 (360)Playing
    4Shadow of the Colossus (PS2)Playing
    5Super Mario 64 (N64)Playing
    6Team Fortress 2 (PC)Playing

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